Ten months before my October wedding, I met with the talented Michael Donovan (Donovan Dream Designs) who will be coordinating my and my fiance's fall wedding! One of the things we talked about is how to communicate to my guests all the info about the big day! A wedding website is something that I am keen on having, especially after realizing how much my guests would need to know to make their experience as enjoyable as possible! With so many website-makers, like The Knot, Squarespace, Wix, and Weduary, geared explicitly towards weddings, it is so, so, easy to make your own in one sitting.
Below are five reasons while you NEED a wedding website, starting with the important logistical reasons, followed by more fun ones!
1. Show important information about your wedding to your guests.
Look, paper invitation are fantastic, often beautiful, and definitely something that I would want to send to my guests. However, wedding invitations are generally sent out months in advance and might not necessarily contain every piece of information that your guests might want to know about your wedding, not to mention any last-minute changes to your wedding day plans.
Your wedding website should assist you in filling in the gaps for your guests. It goes without saying that it should outline the date of your wedding, the general itinerary, locations of venues, and so on. Having information like these on your website should help cut down on all the questions or correspondence you may have with your guests, especially leading up to the wedding day itself where you will likely be busy with last-minute wedding errands.
2. "Save the Date" and RSVP-ing for the modern couple.
Another way your wedding website can assist in your wedding planning is in sending out your "Save the Date" and in consolidating your RSVPs. Now, this can work in a variety ways. For my wedding, for example, my fiance and I are sending an electronic "Save the Date", where we will be asking for the guests' addresses. Using those addresses, we will then be sending actual invitations where the guests can RSVP either online through the website or by post. Of course, you will have to gauge your guests. Some will simply prefer to send their RSVP by post, and others do not use the mail at all, in which case, it is easier for them to click things online! For those planning a lean wedding, while your wedding website cannot sufficiently replace stationary cost, it can help lower it!
3. Registry Information
One of the most stressful things for me as a guest to a wedding is trying to find the appropriate gift for the couple. Do they want house-things? They have been living for a while, so will they prefer money instead? Do they want me to donate to a cause or their honeymoon fund? These are some of the questions your guests might have that can be avoided altogether if you have a wedding website that can tell them either where to find your registry or if you simply have a particular preference in mind, like cash or honeymoon fund.
For your registry information, this is especially helpful if you have multiple registries with different stores, which is the often the case now. Your wedding website can consolidate all of these into one page and *bam!* your guests will know what to get you and your soon-to-be spouse!
4. Share your story!
Now, the fun stuff! Having a wedding website is a great way to showcase your and your spouse-to-be's story. The reality is that not everyone will know how you guys met; some of your guests will have yet to meet your significant other, let alone put a face to him/her. So, this is your time to creatively tell your guests all the things about you and your SO they might be aching to know. Note, you do not have to write a novel! I have seen wedding websites with quick stories about the couple's travels; some involve quirky things like hobbies or favourite ice-cream flavours!
You know those engagement photos you had taken by your photographer? Well, the wedding website is a perfect to showcase those photos as part of sharing your stories!
5. Keep your guests entertained.
This last one, I did not think about until our wedding planner mentioned that your website should contain some information about things to do in the city where the wedding is happening. This is particularly helpful for your out-of-town guests. So, for my wedding, we will be expecting guests from Toronto, Connecticut, San Francisco, and the Philippines. And while I would love to show them Ottawa, it would be nearly impossible to spend time with all of them especially during the week of the wedding.
In addition to information about accommodations, your website should also include the following: fun activities to do in the city, great restaurants to dine in, bars to hit up, museums to visit, etc. Again, gauge your guests' preference and design your website accordingly!